16 Tips for Saving a Ton of Money on Hotel Rooms
Save money so you can spend more where it counts: making memories.
For a trip during peak travel times, call far in advance. However, if you don’t, not all hope is lost. As your travel dates approach, hotel prices fluctuate. Calling in August for a room over Thanksgiving Weekend may get you an unaffordable rate, but trying again in October, you might find the rate has been reduced. When there are many unsold rooms for a particular date, hotels lower the rates. Learn 11 more tips for taking your dream vacation on the cheap.
Use group savings
Nearly every hotel offers a Triple AAA discount, and these discounts tend to be even better than other savings like Corporate Discounts and even AARP rates. For instance, you could save 10 percent at Best Western or Hyatt hotels.
Ask about special discounts
Hotels usually offer discounts for government and military personnel, extended stays of 15 to 30 days or more, and a senior or AARP reduction. Sometimes a hotel manager will even extend a discount for regular visitors. Also, hotels near hospitals often offer special rates for individuals who are in town for treatment, again, particularly those who need to visit regularly. These discounts are not usually offered during online booking, so call to inquire. Heading to Disney World? Find out how to save money on a Disney vacation.
Take advantage of your credit card
Take a look through the reward programs your credit cards offer. “Many credit card companies have partnered with major hotel chains and travel websites to encourage sales and offer incentives to customers,” says Hollenbeck. You might be pleasantly surprised to realize you’re entitled to perks like free rooms just one of the secrets hotels won’t tell you.
Know the area’s price trends
The best price for your city depends on where you’re staying, says Meitis. “Business cities like New York and Washington tend to have higher rates during the week when business travelers are more likely to stay versus the weekend when leisure travelers may come into town,” he says. “Orlando and Miami, on the other hand, are more likely to have lower rates during the week.” If you’re locked into certain dates, figure out which areas of the city you can expect low rates, suggests Bino Chua, founder of travel blog I Wander. For instance, the French Quarter of New Orleans might be expensive on weekends, but a 15-minute walk to the business district downtown will offer substantially better prices, he says. Learn the 12 best off-season travel deals you can book now.
If you’re traveling with a group, you might be better off divvying the price of a vacation home instead of shelling out for individual rooms. “Splitting the cost of a three or four bedroom home where you aren’t forced to eat in a restaurant for three meals a day can make a huge difference to your budget,” says Meitis. (Just don’t make these 14 mistakes when booking a vacation rental!) If you’re doing a solo or couples trip, consider a hostel, suggests Elizabeth. And no, they aren’t just for 20-some backpackers. Some hostels offer private rooms with their own bathrooms at a lower fare than you’d get at a standard hotel.